Skip to main content

Loosen up

Massage should be covered under everyone's preventative care plans. I truly believe this. That said, when I get a massage, which I try to do as often as finances allow to offset the time I'm hunched over a computer, the therapist always tells me I should come back more often or come back for a longer session next time or try cupping or try hot stones... This is probably part of the routine, the up-sell. But what's not part of the routine is the crunchy, stuck, tight muscles around my shoulders, which don't seem to loosen up, no matter who I go to. I breathe into the muscles deeply, take baths with salts and relaxing bubbles, meditate... nothing helps. More than a few times, I've heard, "Your muscles are the tightest I've seen on a person your size." I've also heard, "You're almost as bad as the bodybuilders that come in." Seeing as how I lift weights once a month, maybe, if I can get on the floor long enough to do a few 5 lb raises to strengthen my triceps before the dog starts walking on my face, the comparison isn't complimentary as much as worrisome. 

On the occasion I am able to get a massage, I always ask the therapist the same thing to divert attention from my stubborn muscles. "I bet you have stories, eh? What's your craziest?" Inevitably, there's an affirmative, and often a story. Herein is this week's prompt:

A massage therapist, male or female, is working on a client who doesn't follow protocol. What does the client do or say? How does the therapist react? Is there awkward small talk? Confrontation? Take it where it goes, and end with the client getting dressed, the therapist outside the door, waiting with a plastic cup of water.    

I'm going to work on my ergonomics and stretching routine this week. I wish you comfort. 
xo Jen

Comments

  1. John Michael CummingsOctober 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Dear Jen,

    Will you please consider reviewing my new novel DON’T FORGET ME, BRO (Stephen F. Austin State University Press and Texas Book Consortium, Dec. 2014-Jan.2015).

    My novel tackles themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families--and leaves the reader uplifted!

    Kirkus Reviews says: "Read this book for the vivid imagery and sharp dialogue. Read it for the spot-on characterizations..."

    The subject matter is never treated frivolously or over-handled in details. The writing is taut and compelling throughout. The pace leans forward tirelessly.

    Those accomplishments alone took years.

    In all, five of my thirty years of writing were dedicated to this novel. I like to joke: I had to pull my soul sideways through a keyhole for those five years to get the right words down.

    My debut novel, THE NIGHT I FREED JOHN BROWN (Penguin Group, 2008), won The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and was one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY for Black History Month. For more info:
    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/john-michael-cummings/the-night-i-freed-john-brown/

    My 2011 short story collection, UGLY TO START WITH (West Virginia
    University Press), was hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a work of “sharp observation and surpassing grace.” Here’s a link to some information about my collection:
    http://www.amazon.com/Ugly-Start-With-Michael-Cummings/dp/193597808X

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary
    journals, including The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    But DON'T FORGET ME, BRO is my best!

    The novel is a fictionalized story of my brother. Joe died at 47 of system-wide neglect and indifference for the so-called mentally ill in my, until recently, extremely backward home state of West Virginia.

    I know thousands of lives are lost every day around the world. True, Joe was just one. But in this novel, you will see him live and die not once, but a thousand times in the minutes of his life.

    If you email me at johnmcummings@aol.com, I'll send you the cover graphic for my novel. Then, please take a look at the image. You will see in Joe's innocent, dead-on eyes at 19.

    I'll also email you a new digital .pdf of my novel from the publisher. It's a clear, bold text.

    I promise you that DON'T FORGET ME, BRO is not too grim. I am
    sensitive to the reader's well-being and tolerance.

    Cleanly written and briskly plotted, DON'T FORGET ME, BRO is a quick, fabulous read, a literary page-turner. Never before in my career could I say this about my work. So I say so now with a truth I can all but guarantee.

    I hope I don't sound arrogant. I am just very happy and confident.

    To give you a bigger picture of my novel, I'll even email you a full advance review by Pauline Finch of Bookreporter.com, along with a list of authors who've blurbed my novel so far and what they have said.

    I would very grateful and honored if you were to review my new novel.

    Again, my email is johnmcummings@aol.com

    My phone number is (304) 620-8747.

    In respect and gratitude for your work,

    and warmly,

    John Michael Cummings

    -- end --

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John, I like a pace that "leans forward tirelessly." I also like happiness and confidence, especially in writers.

      So long as you don't need a super-quick response, I'd be honored to read your book. I'm sold! Feel free to email me a copy here: Jenknox395@gmail.com.

      Delete

Post a Comment